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Nothing ruins a picnic like finding ants crawling all over your food. Because they live in colonies; where you see one, there are about 1,000 more you don’t see! They can be a difficult pest to get rid of. A common ant species to invade homes is the odorous house ant. Pest Control Technicians, Inc. is here to help you identify and prevent an invasion of the odorous house ant.

Appearance & Identification of Odorous House Ant

Odorous house ants are a common ant found in and around homes. They are actually ranked as one of the most common pests in the United States. The odorous house ant is quite small measuring nearly an 1/8 of an inch long. They are black and have an unevenly shaped thorax. The most distinctive characteristic of the odorous house ant is the foul odor they emit when they are smashed. Some people say it smells like rotten coconut and others say it smells like blue cheese. Either way, the smell is less than desirable.

Where do You Find Odorous House Ants Around Your Home?

The odorous house ant can be found both outside and inside your home. If they are found outside, they usually build shallow nests or are found under rocks, logs and other items like that. During the rainiest months of the year, they usually seek for shelter indoors to avoid getting flooded out. They are often found near leaky plumbing, beneath the floor, and other small crevices. They can actually thrive in a variety of places. This is what makes them such a common pest.

Odorous House Ant Diet

This pesky ant feeds off of honeydew, a sugary waste substance left behind by other insects like aphids. They also eat insects, seeds and nuts, and other plant secretions. They have a rather sweet tooth, and prefer sweet foods. If they are found indoor, they will most likely be looking for foods that are high in sugar such as honey, jams, jellies and fruit juices. They will also eat many other foods including vegetables, meat and greases.

How Do I Know I have an Odorous House Ant Problem?

The odorous house ant lives in colonies much like other types of ants. Their colonies can have hundreds of ants with one queen or thousands of ants with numerous queens. They are known as a polygamous colony while many other types of ants are not. Odorous house ants go seeking for food in trails. Because they work in trails, these trails are visible. If you notice trails around outside you know you have a problem. Because one colony can have so many ants within it, if you have a colony nearby you will most likely see ants. They are often seen walking in a perfectly straight line.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants make their homes in pavement and will attack properties throughout the year. They are light brown to black with appendages that are lighter than the rest of their body. They are 0.09 to 0.12 inches long. Pavement ants will feed on a wide variety of foods meats, grease, live and dead insects, seeds, pet food and honeydew from aphids along with many foods that are consumed by humans.

Behavior of Pavement Ants in My House

Pavement ants will set up trails to food sources from their nests and become a pest when large groups of them infest a kitchen or garden patio. Pavement ants do not bite but they possess the ability to sting. They are mostly docile and non-aggressive and will avoid confrontation when defending themselves instead of stinging. There are multiple queens within a colony and numerous workers and the worker ants will tend to the queen’s young until they become adults.

Signs of Pavement Ant Infestations

You might find pavement ants under mulch or open areas of soil that are close to the foundation of buildings. They will also live underneath logs, stones, bricks, patio blocks and boards. Pavement ants will nest in the cracks of driveways and under sidewalks, resulting in a mound of dirt on top of the pavement. When you find them inside, they will be nesting under floors, inside insulation or walls, baseboards, around plumbing, toilets, sinks, and along the edges of the carpet. They move in small motions and trails are easier to see at night. You can look around plumbing pipes and electrical wires for their ant trails. Small piles of excavated materials are another sign you might have pavement ants along with spotting worker pavement ants or even swarmers, which are winged ants that will leave the colony to mate and start their own colonies.

Carpenter Ants

Facts About Carpenter Ants:

  • Can have up to 15,000 individuals as part of a colony and satellite nests
  • Starts by destroying damp, rotten wood and then works into solid wood members
  • Damaged wood has a smooth, sandpapered appearance
  • Debris from nests include sawdust like shavings and insect body parts
  •  Carpenter ants “farm” aphids for their “Honey Dew” secretions as a food source.

Carpenter ants can come from trees outside your home or could even be nesting inside your home and causing serious damage. Pest Control Technicians, Inc. has the specific inspection and treatment skills to find and properly treat these damaging insects.

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